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Kennedy's decision could make for wide open field for Louisiana governor

“Now that he says he’s not running, it’s opened the field,” political pollster Ron Faucheux said. “It’s wide open.”

NEW ORLEANS — U.S. Senator John Kennedy’s brief flirtation with the Louisiana governor’s race froze the field of would-be candidates as he would have entered the race as a heavy favorite. 

“Now that he says he’s not running, it’s opened the field,” political pollster Ron Faucheux said. “It’s wide open.” 

Politicians who have been waiting out Kennedy’s decision are now expected to soon reveal whether they’re in or out. To date, the only major announced candidate is Attorney General Jeff Landry. 

Lt. Governor Bill Nungesser told WWL-TV, “I’m struggling with it. It’s a tough decision. I’m going to keep my word and make a decision by next Tuesday.” 

A spokeswoman for state Treasurer John Schroder said, “The Treasurer has no comment right now because he hasn’t made any formal announcement.” 

“The problem Nungesser and Schroder have is they have to give up their current jobs to run for governor which is a tougher choice to make,” Faucheux said. 

Congressman Garret Graves is also exploring a potential bid. Faucheux said the Baton Rouge Republican would be a formidable candidate. 

“Depending on what the rest of the field looks like, he could be a major contender from day one.” 

If he decides to run, recent polls show state Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson would likely be the Democrats' top contender. 

“With my years of experience and passion and commitment to this state and the ability to work with Republicans and Democrats alike, I think it fits the bill, but it’s too early to tell,” Wilson said. “We’re doing some deep thought and prayer about it.” 

The Louisiana governor’s primary election is slated for October 14. 

Qualifying starts on August 8. 

A poll conducted by the Billy Nungesser campaign in early December showed the Lt. Governor tied with Secretary Shawn Wilson at 23-percent. 

Jeff Landry was close behind at 22-percent. 

They were followed by Senator Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, Treasurer John Schroder and Lake Charles Businessman Hunter Lundy in single digits. 


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